DESI G N ER
S P OTLI GH T
ulloo 42 Transforming furniture and lighting into vivid, colorful designs, SUZANNE CURRIE and LISE ABRAHAM produce unique pieces, which are both artistic and functional.
“I love looking at Haute Couture fashion shows. I think of the furniture as couture pieces.”
Artist, Suzanne Currie, and business visionary, Lise Abraham, are the English duo behind Ulloo42. They had been friends for many years before they decided to become business partners. During the period that they shared a house, from 2012-2014, they started collaborating on interior design and were amazed at how like-minded and intuitively they worked together. Ulloo42 happened organically, over time, with an idea of ‘art-cycling’, re-purposing furniture by using Suzanne’s artwork in a variety of ways. Suzanne combines pattern and collage to form bold designs. She crafts each item individually, drawing on her travels in Africa and her background as a figurative painter. She looks for furniture, materials and inspiration everywhere, spending days, and often nights, working on pieces in her studio, only occasionally needing the help of an upholsterer. Typically, each piece takes around 2 weeks to complete and they do accept commissions. “I get my ideas everywhere,” says Suzanne. “Inspiration is in the most unlikely places. I love looking at haute couture fashion shows, for example. I think of the furniture as couture pieces.” Is it Art or is it Function? “Well it’s both really. My art is the basis of a lot of the items we are making, and most of those are functional home pieces,” says Suzanne. “We think it is both Art and Function, the best of both worlds! Furniture should be comfortable to sit on but also make a statement in your home and bring you pleasure when you look at it,” says Lise. “The same principle for the smaller items like the earrings – you can wear them, and you can take pleasure from the beauty and the happiness that they bring to you, the wearer.”
Lise Abraham and Suzanne Currie
Revamping second-hand furniture into unique ‘couture’ pieces of fun, quickly evolved into much more. Now they have wallpaper, fabric and jewelry. The quirky Ulloo42 designs appeal to different people on different levels. Designers love the furniture for its uniqueness, museums love the smaller colorful items for their gift stores. Everyone loves a funky wallpaper or fabric and everyone loves a fabulous earring! “In California right now we see the trend towards neutrals, black and white with pops of color. In England, people also like that but they are more willing to experiment with a lot of color and some unusual pieces of furniture.” says Lise. As the financier and director of operations, Lise manages the business from her base in Europe and frequent visits to Newport Beach, which is where they have their studio. As they continue to grow, they are beginning to experiment with art on different surfaces. Their aim is to launch a line in England and exhibit at some of the prominent European Trade Shows in the near future.
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